The secret to entrepreneurial success rests in kindness
ROI with a difference: being kind is just as important in our business lives as it is in our personal lives
The Golden Rule: Be Kind
The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is one of the oldest documented ethical philosophies. It is common to nearly all religions and can be found in numerous theological texts throughout the ages, dating as far back as 1800 B.C. This basic premise, to treat others in the same way that you would want to be treated—or in other words, with kindness—is quite possibly the wisest bit of advice ever handed down to us by our ancestors. Without kindness, the world as we know it would not exist.
How you treat others has a clear and direct influence over how others perceive and treat you. It is not hard to understand why this is so important in our personal lives, but the simple truth is, kindness is just as compelling in our business lives. How we treat our colleagues, our clients, and people in general can have an incredibly profound effect on our achievements in business. Many of the smartest and most impressive entrepreneurs of our time espouse the value of kindness and cite it as an integral part of their success.
While the book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success by Adam Grant goes deep into how being kind and helping others will help you as an entrepreneur, we wanted to give you a quick look at ways that being kind can propel your success as an entrepreneur. Let’s examine some of the many ways in which kindness has a powerful, positive impact on your business.
Builds Strong Partnerships
When you treat others with kindness it makes you more attractive as a business partner. We have a greater tendency to look out for the people that we know have our backs and demonstrate a concern for our happiness and welfare. This allows you to build fruitful partnerships with investors and colleagues. It establishes trust, encourages respect and consideration, and creates a mutually beneficial bond with the consummate understanding that you are working together towards a common goal.
Just as kindness makes for solid partnerships, it also helps you develop healthy relationships with your team or staff. When you treat your employees with generosity and compassion, it affects not only their opinion of you but also greatly influences how much they like their job. Going back to what we mentioned above, we all know that the best jobs are the ones we enjoy doing, and that is true regardless if we are business owners or employees. When you make your employees feel appreciated, valued, respected, and cared for, it also makes them feel loyalty and dedication to you. Furthermore, it helps attract the best people to you and motivates them to do their best work, inspiring them to see your company’s success as their own.
Attracts and Retains Clientele
Acts of kindness are recognized and noticed just as much as bad behavior. When you habitually engage in charitable behavior, the public will see that and have a greater tendency to gravitate towards you. Kindness feeds your status as a company people want to do business with. It attracts new clients and helps you keep existing ones.
Establishes Strong Business Relationships
Kindness is a foundation for great relationships with other institutions you do business with. This positively affects your entire business network, improving trade and supplier relations, government and community interactions, and even helps to build mutually respectful relationships with competitors. When other companies enjoy doing business with you and trust that they are being treated fairly and honorably, they are more motivated to do their best by you to maintain those relationships.
Creates a Favorable Reputation
When you consistently conduct business with kindness, you build a reputation that is universally admired and that bolsters your company’s success on a multitude of levels. Even a small, local company can receive global recognition for the way they conduct themselves. In this day and age, everything you do as an entrepreneur will be scrutinized and judged. People will talk about their interactions with you and post their opinions online for the world to see. If that assessment is favorable, it can do wonderfully positive things for your business. Alternately, if that assessment is negative, it can crush your business. That alone might be the single most critical reason for entrepreneurs to be nice!
Ultimately, kindness matters. With every compassionate act, you are doing more than just establishing a reputation for yourself and your company; you are laying the foundation for enduring success and creating a legacy that will have ripple effects throughout your life and beyond, making a positive difference in the lives of your family members, colleagues, and maybe even the world in general. Remember: kindness will not only help you become a better entrepreneur, but it will also bring much more happiness and positivity into your life.
Rotem Gindi is a serial entrepreneur and mentor having founded Vidstart, A video Monetization platform for app developers, Beani TV, a streaming service for kids, and Limpid, an influencer marketing platform. He has mentored at Techstars and WeWork Labs.